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Ice Chips

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No surprise: Eagles bolt

The worst kept secret in all of hockey came to fruition today, as the Colorado Eagles announced they are leaving the CHL for the ECHL.

Click here to watch the announcement.

I have to say, the whole thing had a very condescending vibe toward the CHL, like the Eagles were making the jump to the American Hockey League or something.

"As much as we've enjoyed our time in the Central Hockey League, this move is something we believe we're ready for and are ready to make as an organization," said Chis Stewart, the Eagles' coach, general manager and president. "We're energized by the challenges the ECHL will present, but we're confident we'll be able to continue at a successful, high level."

The Eagles lost to Bossier-Shreveport in the seven-game Presidents' Cup Final.

With the departure of Colorado, the folding of Quad City and the move of Odessa to the North American Hockey League, the CHL will have 15 teams, at most, next season.

"Obviously, this move (by Colorado) has been rumored for several months, now," Komets president Michael Franke said. "It's really not a surprise. I wish them all the luck in the world. It's a great franchise with that (311-game) sellout streak and they're in a tremendous community out there. It's a positive for the ECHL and for us in the CHL, it's a big loss."

Added CHL commissioner Duane Lewis: "The Eagles' contributions to the CHL, and vice-versa, have certainly been mutually beneficial. And the team's tremendous fan base is to be commended for the presence they have displayed over the past eight seasons."

Justin A. Cohn, pro sports coordinator for The Journal Gazette, has been covering the Fort Wayne Komets since 1997. His reporting includes game stories from home and away, features about the players and personalities associated with the Komets, plus coverage of issues affecting hockey at all levels. A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Cohn graduated from Emory University in Atlanta. He can be reached at 260-461-8429 or by email at